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John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection, 1880-2007 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection, 1880-2007Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Primary Creator: Adams Postcard Collection (1892-2007)

Extent: 282.0 Boxes


I. San Diego (SD)

II. California (CA)

III. US Views (USV)

IV. Publisher (PB)

V. Foreign Views (FV)

VI. Topical (TOP)

VII. Card Types  (CT)

VIII. Russell Raitt Donation (RR)

IX. Carol Wilson Donation (CW)

X. Souvenir Albums (SA)

XI. Research Materials (RM)

XII. Albums (ALB)

XIII. Oversized Materials (OV)

Date Acquired: 00/00/1989. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Adams, Jane Ford--Art collections, Adams, John R., 1900-1994--Art collections, Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula)--Pictorial works, California--Pictorial works, Cities and towns--United States--Pictorial works, Mexican-American Border Region--Pictorial works, Political postcards--Private collections--California--San Diego, Political postcards--Specimens, Postcards--Private collections--California--San Diego, Postcards--Specimens, San Diego (Calif.)--Pictorial works, San Diego County (Calif.)--Pictorial works, Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico)--Pictorial works, United States--Pictorial works

Forms of Material: Ephemera

Languages: English, French

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection consists of over 100 years of history and communication through postcards. The postcards are diverse in size, format, and subject. The collection contains more than 4,500 postcards of San Diego County, and 8,500 postcards representing parts of the state of California and the development of California. Individual states in the U.S. as well as other countries of the world also have categories in the collection. Postcards are also arranged by publisher, type, and topic. Also included with the collection are research materials related to postcard collections and collecting, albums of postcards, and a balsawood postcard file box. The collection has been broken down into distinct categories, both topically and geographically. Each box is identified with its category abbreviation and box number.

In the Topical Series, there are 10 subseries. Subseries I: Greetings encompasses general holiday, birthday, romantic, religious, and miscellaneous sentiments, as well as the popular European "Gruss Aus" and its American descendant, the "Greetings From" type of card. Subseries 2: Art includes reproduced paintings, drawings, sculptures, museum pieces, and other art. Subseries 3: Comics includes comic postcards (usually drawn characters), including comic art involving early 20th century stereotypes of Germans, African-Americans, and other minority groups. Subseries 4: Places includes postcards from specific places such as monuments, but also many postcards from miscellaneous places around the world intended to depict foreign costumes and ways of life. Subseries 5: People includes famous people and performers, as well as general depictions. Subseries 6: Events includes various world expositions, wars, and famous disasters. Subseries 7: Nature includes postcards of various animals and plants. Subseries 8: Politics includes promotional postcards for candidates in presidential and other elections, as well as promotional material for various causes, such as temperance and suffrage. Subseries 9: Sports includes depictions of a variety of international sports. Subseries 10: Transportation depicts varied forms of transportation, with a significant strength in military transportation.

Biographical Note

Postcards began circulation as a convenient means of quick and often colorful communication in the mid-to-late 19th century. Both American and European publishers took advantages of the postcard craze of the early 20th Century as millions of postcards of a variety of subjects and topics were produced, circulated, and collected. The popularity of postcard collecting diminished during World War I and postcards have never achieved quite the popularity they initially held, but postcards are still widely produced, circulated, and collected worldwide for various reasons and occasions.

Subject/Index Terms

Adams, Jane Ford--Art collections
Adams, John R., 1900-1994--Art collections
Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula)--Pictorial works
California--Pictorial works
Cities and towns--United States--Pictorial works
Mexican-American Border Region--Pictorial works
Political postcards--Private collections--California--San Diego
Political postcards--Specimens
Postcards--Private collections--California--San Diego
San Diego (Calif.)--Pictorial works
San Diego County (Calif.)--Pictorial works
Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico)--Pictorial works
United States--Pictorial works

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 1998, 1993, 2005

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: San Diego (SD)],
[Series 2: California (CA)],
[Series 3: U.S. Views (USV)],
[Series 4: Publisher (PB)],
[Series 5: Foreign Views (FV)],
[Series 6: Topical (TOP)],
[Series 7: Card Types (CT)],
[Series 8: Russell Raitt Donation (RR)],
[Series 9: Carol Wilson Donation (CW)],
[Series 10: Research Materials (RM)],
[Series 11: Albums (ALB)],
[Series 12: Oversized Materials (OV)],

Series 1: San Diego (SD)Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
San Diego Exposition 1914-1915, San Diego Exposition 1935-1936, Old Globe Theatre, Balboa Park
Box 2Add to your cart.
San Diego Zoo, San Diego Art, Restaurants, Churches
Box 3Add to your cart.
San Diego Street Scenes, Overviews, Hotels/Motel: El Cortez, Golden West, San Diego Hotel, Barcelona, Maryland, St. James, Churchill, Pickwick, Robinson, King George; Hospitals and Sanitariums, Residences, San Diego State, San Diego High Schools, Universities.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Oversized Materials, Folders and Panoramas (Single views, sets oversized)
Box 5Add to your cart.
Jessop's Clock, Downtown, U.S. Grant Hotel, Golden Hills Park, Ostrich Farm, Mission Cliff Gardens, San Diego Mission (de Alcala), Ramona's Marriage Place
Box 6Add to your cart.
Mission Valley, Old Town
Box 7Add to your cart.
Stadium, Library, U.S. Post Office, Custom Houses, Y.M.C.A./Y.W.C.A., Court Houses, City Hall Civic Center, Banks, Theatre/Movie Houses, Buildings, Advertising, Escondido, Vista, San Marcos, Fallbrook, San Luis Rey Mission, Oceanside, Pala Mission, Temecula
Box 8Add to your cart.
Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, Tent City, People, Political, Animals, Greetings, 200th Anniversary
Box 9Add to your cart.
Box 10Add to your cart.
San Diego Military, Camp Callen Naval Training Center, North Island Naval Air Station, Camp Elliot, Camp Kearny, M.C.R.D. Marine Base Camp Pendleton, Planes, Autos, Train Depots, Ships, Airplanes
Box 11Add to your cart.
San Diego Waterfront, Airplanes
Box 12Add to your cart.
Theosophical Institute (Point Loma), Point Loma, Point Loma Light House, Benington National Monument, Fort Rosecrans, Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Oceanside, Torrey Pines
Box 13Add to your cart.
Del Mar, Leucadia, Coronado Islands, Cardiff by the Sea, Ensinitas/Leucadia, Carlsbad, Rancho Fe, Scripps Miramar Ranch, Solana Beach
Box 14Add to your cart.
Pre-1915 Exposition Ground Breaking Parade Celebration, San Diego Exposition 1915-1916
Box 15Add to your cart.
San Diego Views
Box 16Add to your cart.
La Jolla, Horace Rhoads (Vice President and Business Manager of "The San Diego Sun" Newspaper)
Box 17Add to your cart.
La Mesa, Mt. Helix/Grossmont, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Lakeside, Sweetwater, El Cajon, Bostonia, National City, Chula Vista, Santa Isabel, Alpine/Descanso/Pine Valley, Cuyamaca, Mt. Laguna, Palomar, Julian, Borrego, Otay, Jacumba, Mesa Grande, Imperial Valley, El Centro
Box 18Add to your cart.
Campo, Ramona, Warner's Hot Springs, Carrisco Gorge, U.S. Border (San Diego side)
Box 19Add to your cart.
San Diego Duplicates
Box 20Add to your cart.
San Diego Airplanes Duplicates
Box 21Add to your cart.
Duplicates of San Diego, Duplicates of California, Duplicates of Western States (including Mitchell's)
Box 22Add to your cart.
San Diego (duplicates in quantity)
Box 23Add to your cart.
San Diego Sets (in duplicates)

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: San Diego (SD)],
[Series 2: California (CA)],
[Series 3: U.S. Views (USV)],
[Series 4: Publisher (PB)],
[Series 5: Foreign Views (FV)],
[Series 6: Topical (TOP)],
[Series 7: Card Types (CT)],
[Series 8: Russell Raitt Donation (RR)],
[Series 9: Carol Wilson Donation (CW)],
[Series 10: Research Materials (RM)],
[Series 11: Albums (ALB)],
[Series 12: Oversized Materials (OV)],

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